The Five Hottest Topics in Google Trends as of July 8, 2010, 4:00 P.M. are stress tests, spy swap, earthquake, oil spill in Gulf of Mexico, Alisa Maier. Of course the public is very fickle so the popularity of any topic cannot be assured for more than five minutes. In any event I try to identify and write a comment about those that have far reaching impacts on our lives, manifest some kind of social phenomena or have great entertainment value. In today’s selection we have information about heart attack prevention, intrigues about Russian spies in the U.S. and American spies in Russia, shattering earthquake news, more about the worst oil spill in history, and parental precautions against child snatching.
First, it is comforting to see that public interest is perking up again about preventing heart attacks, the number one killer in the United States. However, the term “stress test” also applies to economic issues, particularly testing for solvency among banks to reassure a nervous public that the banking system is still intact. I’m not certain which of the two applications is generating all of the instant interest on Google, but both have a profound impact on the quality of our lives. More over the two issues are connected as people understandably have an enormous emotional attachment to their money. It seems that the European Union is now back peddling to bolster investor confidence in their banking systems. However, on a personal level it seems the more vital application is the exercise stress test to screen for heart disease. This is especially important if you are a 40 to 60-year-old couch potato who wants to achieve transformation to hard-body work-out fanatic. Be sure to make easy stages.
Second, the spy swap news is the epitome of silliness. There appears to be a complex web of scientists and business people jailed on both sides who are now the pawns in a spy exchange. We haven’t seen this much real life spy adventure entertainment since the cold war ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Apparently, the photogenic socialite, Anna Chapman and 9 other Russian sleeper spies, who have spent the last ten years bumbling and fumbling around New York City with lap tops while under FBI electronic surveillance, just pleaded guilty in Federal Court to minor charges as part of the swap deal. Now they’re on their way to JFK for a non-stop flight to Moscow. I wonder if they’re being charged extra to check their luggage. In any event, this story has all the makings of a great comedy and I am certain that all of these Russian buffoons are rushing to make their book deals.
Third, earthquakes are always interesting except to California residents. I was in an earthquake once in 1984 in Yonkers, New York. It was a 4.8 magnitude. There was no damage, but it was an unforgettable experience because it never happens in that part of the world. I was in my sixth floor apartment and it felt like the floor had fallen out for about 30 seconds. People were running out into the streets at 3:00 A.M. In California they don’t even wake up at 4.8. I guess it’s a matter of being desensitized. If you look at the news now you will see that there are earthquakes going on all over the world. However, we don’t know if this represents an increase in activity or just the advances in communication technology that allows us to track all of the major tremors in remote parts of the world. In any event earthquakes are a scary thought because of the potential for devastation and we never know where the fault lies.
Fourth, we are revisiting the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico because there is still no end in sight. There is one ray of hope with a huge oil skimming ship called “A Whale” which reportedly has the ability to scoop up 21 million gallons of spilled crude per day from the ocean. There is also Kevin Costner’s V20 centrifuge designed to separate the crude from the sea water at 200,000 gallons per day. Currently there are 500 different skimming devices scouring the Gulf and they have collectively cleaned up 25,000,000 gallons to date which leaves another 62,000,000 gallons more to go with the gusher still spewing off hundreds of thousands of gallons per day. Therefore, until BP caps its well, they might as well be using spoons.
Finally, With all the information about child snatching that has hit the airwaves and the internet for the last four decades, a convicted pervert kidnapped little 4-year-old Alisa Maier from her front yard. Thank G-d this child was returned to her parents still alive with no gross injuries. Authorities found her at a gas station 70 miles away. The police found out who the pervert was and as they zeroed in on him he shot himself in the head and died. No great loss there, but this story is just one of tens of thousands of abducted children most of whom are still missing. The massive number of child predators in our great society is beyond understanding, but it is not difficult to see that our criminal justice system is much too lenient with these heinous offenders. In order for the punishment to fit the crime, there has to be a measure for measure retribution. There is no cure for child predators because it is not a disease. These are monsters that are freaks of nature. You can try to train a snake to be nice, but it will always be a snake that will take what it wants with its venom and contribute nothing. Since the victim faces a life sentence, justice would be served by mandating a life-sentence for child abduction.
In conclusion, the Google Trends’ hottest topics continues to be a wealth of information to see what is on the collective minds of the hundreds of millions of the denizens of cyberspace. This is the planet Earth with no borders. Maybe there are a few ET’s surfing the web by now; you never know.